Competitions and other sections
IDFA's program sections are a testament to the evolving world of documentary film. From emerging art forms to established cinematic traditions, our slate of competitions and non-competitive sections offer something for every filmmaker and film lover. View all the titles in IDFA 2023 competitions and non-competitive programs here.
The best of the art. Singular films that are artistically confident, well-rounded, and universally relevant. An international jury of five jurors will award the best film as well as other films that champion the craft and innovation of filmmaking.
With stylistic integrity and courage, these films traverse our current reality, offering visions of a documentary art form that can, might, and will be. An international jury of five jurors will award the best film as well as other films that champion the craft and innovation of filmmaking.
IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction
A testament to the power of exceptional non-fiction storytelling across media and technologies, the selected works for the IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction reveal the full spectrum of immersive art. An international jury of three jurors will award the best project in addition to handing out a special jury award.
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
The selected projects in the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling illustrate all the different ways to create stories in new ways to innovate and re-imagine the potential of interactive storytelling, often moving between the digital and the physical. An international jury of three jurors will award the best project in addition to handing out a special jury award.
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary
The IDFA Competition for Short Documentary has titles that showcase a healthy boom for the short film form. A mosaic of styles and themes defines this selection, exploring everything a short documentary can be. An international jury of three jurors will award the best film.
IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary
The IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary offers world-class films that challenge the definition of youth documentary. Selected titles are presented for two distinct age groups: 9- to 12-year-olds, and 13-year-olds all the way to adulthood.
The premiere-only section’s lineup includes a wide range of styles and formalist approaches, from observational to personal to experimental.
The premiere-only section take an artistic approach to exploring the urgent issues of our time.
IDFA on Stage
The IDFA on Stage selection presents a boundary-breaking program of live cinema events—bridging film, new media, and the performing arts.
IDFA DocLab Spotlight
Documentary art across disciplines, presenting emerging media works and research projects by masters and new talents.
Pushing the limits of the documentary form. A showcase of the year’s best experimental documentary art.
The latest films by the most interesting contemporary filmmakers whose filmographies we highly appreciate, and for whose work we wait with excitement.
Best of Fests
Prize-winners, public favorites, and high-profile titles from the international festival circuit.
Ten films selected by IDFA’s Guest of Honor, from influential masterpieces to hidden documentary gems.
A homage to the festival's yearly Guest of Honor with a celebration of their oeuvre. A retrospective of the work of a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
A selection of new and canonical films curated around a thematic point of focus.
A series of films and conversations on the invisible connections between filmmakers.
From the International Competition, Envision Competition, Luminous, and Frontlight, two international juries will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for Best First Feature (€5,000) and the FIPRESCI Award.
From the International Competition, Envision Competition, Luminous, Frontlight, and Signed, an international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Film supported by VEVAM Fund (€7,500).
From across the program, an international jury will choose the winner of the Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award for Best Creative Use of Archive (€5,000).